11 May 2022 | Amateur golf |
Four teams in the hunt for Aus Interstate final
by Dane Heverin
The stage is set for a fascinating final round at the Australian Interstate Team Matches at Sorrento Golf Club after Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia put themselves in with a chance of earning a berth in Thursday’s final.
Western Australia rose to the top of the table on Wednesday by halving their contest with overnight leaders South Australia 4-4 before overcoming New South Wales 5.5-2.5, but they are level with Victoria on three points.
The Big V notched up 5-3 and 6.5-1.5 wins over New South Wales and Tasmania respectively and it has onlookers, and the players themselves, salivating over tomorrow morning’s match up with Western Australia for a spot in the final.
“Hopefully the whole team can keep carrying forward,” Victorian co-captain Andre Lautee said.
“We’re in a great spot and we just need to keep going into the next match.”
The home side will be hoping to draw some energy from the Sorrento crowd, who will be out in strong numbers to support local favourite Molly McLean, as well as the rest of the Victorian team.
Both of McLean’s parents work at Sorrento and the 15-year-old seems to know the course’s undulations like the back of her hand.
“I’m out here a lot after school practising, chipping away, so I guess it’s a bit of a home advantage,” McLean said.
The West Australians made a big change this afternoon by promoting Hayden Hopewell to the number one seed for his match against NSW Open champion Harrison Crowe and he responded by claiming the win in style.
“We both came out of the blocks strong, but it was kind of knick and knack the whole way. He played really well and I finished 14 and 15 birdie, birdie, that was for 8 birdies for the day and no bogeys so I was pretty happy with how I played, he played really good but just caught me on the wrong round,” Hopewell said.
“We had it planned from the start to make the change. Connor (McKinney), he’s been playing so well the past couple months, I think it was only fair to give both of us a crack at number one and yeah, my form is pretty nice so I’m pretty pleased.”
Hopewell’s teammate Kirsten Rudgeley was quick to say however, that the team will be looking to avoid other changes going into tomorrow.
“We will do what we did last night and all the other nights I guess, have a bit of dinner, have a little chat and then probably go play some ping pong,” she said after her victory over New South Wales’ Kelsey Bennett.
“But nah it’s been chilled out, it’s been good, once we are off the course we don’t really think about it so yeah, looking forward to it.”
Queensland won their third and fourth round matches - 7-1 against Tasmania and 5-3 over South Australia - to move into third position, only half a point behind the leaders.
They did not need added motivation for tomorrow’s clash with traditional rival New South Wales but performances like those of junior star Justice Bosio, who backed up her defeat of Kirsten Rudgeley yesterday strongly, have kept their title dreams alive.
Bosio convincingly won against Hallie Meaburn - where she was four-under when they shook hands after 14 holes - and had a halved contest with Karrie Webb Scholarship holder Caitlin Peirce.
“I played pretty good today, I think that’s the best I’ve played in my matches,” Bosio said.
“Hopefully we get the win tomorrow and get into the final!”
The individual highlight of the day came from New South Wales' Christopher Fan who made a hole-in-one at the 15th with a 7-iron in his morning match against Victorian Jasper Stubbs, while it was a somewhat disappointing day for South Australia after the highs of yesterday, but they are still well placed to earn a finals spot that many thought was unlikely.
They take on bottom placed Tasmania, but will still need results to fall their way as there is the possibility that four teams could finish on 3.5 points if Western Australia draw with Victoria and South Australia and Queensland.
The possible scenarios have the managers from the four states doing their maths on total match points, and there is sure to be another twist in the tale on Thursday morning.
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